I am not too clear how I became involved in the Wood Group, but I do remember attending a lecture at RMIT on wood technology in the early 1960s, ending up by promising to start an ACT group, which I did.
After a few years I was invited to be a Life Member of the ACT Wood Group.
We later organised an exhibition of members’ work (Melville Hall, ANU ?) and I was asked to judge the Sculpture entries and the Furniture entries. All entries were anonymous and the sculpture entries were of such poor conceptual quality I felt I should not make any selection. Instead there was a furniture entry that had such sculptural qualities I just had to give the sculpture prize to it.
There was also another piece of furniture that I awarded first prize in the Furniture section.
As it turned out I had unknowingly awarded both prizes to the same craftsman (who was a student at the Wood school at the ANU) and I was criticised for that.
Gradually, I realised that although members were capable of excellent workmanship they had poor conceptual design skills and I lost interest in the discussion topics which were almost entirely technical with no design consideration. I tried to insert some discussion on design but found little interest.
The Wood Group is still active in the ACT.